L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 31 Paperback – May 4, 2015
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“Science fiction as a genre has always looked to the future and the Writers of the Future looks to the future of science fiction.” —Kevin J. Anderson (co-author of the Dune series
“Some of the most excellent speculative fiction that you can find. They’re cutting edge.” —Nnedi Okorafor
“These are the people who are going to be creating trends.” —Brandon Sanderson
“Writers of the Future, as a contest and as a book, remains the flagship of short fiction.” —Orson Scott Card
“The best new stories by new writers, anywhere.” —Larry Niven
“See the best of the best culled for you, curated and selected in a single volume every year.” —Robert J. Sawyer
“An absolute wealth of imagination, adventure, excitement, stimulation and joy, every possible human emotion.” —Sean Williams
“A very generous legacy from L. Ron Hubbard a fine, fine fiction writer for the writers of the future.” —Anne McCaffrey
“Writers of the Future is a terrific program for new writers, and goodness knows, there are few enough of those. It has my heartiest support and unqualified recommendation.” —Terry Brooks
“Some of the best SF of the future comes from Writers of the Future.” —David Hartwell Hugo-Award-winning editor
“This collection shows why I'm happy to be a judge for the Writers of the Future Contest it always finds great stories by the new writers who will be winning Hugo and Nebula Awards a few years from now.” —Tim Powers
“The Writers of the Future Contest has not only provided a place where new writers could break into print for the first time but it also has a record of nurturing and discovering writers who have gone on to make their mark in the science fiction field. Long may it continue!” —Neil Gaiman
“It all started when I won the Writers of the Future Contest. Without them, I can honestly say I would not be where I am today.” —Patrick Rothfuss
“Supports new and enthusiastic artists pursue their dream...” —Stephen Youll
“Writers of the Future played a critical role in the early stages of my career.” —Eric Flint
“Writers of the Future was an accelerator to my writing development.” —Jo Beverley
“WOTF judges encouraged me to write more.” —Eric James Stone
“I highly recommend it to everyone...” —Ken Scholes
“Writers of the Future launched my career...” —David Sakmyster
“They really do know how to pick and train talent.” —Mike Resnick
“The Illustrators of the Future is an amazing compass for what the art industry holds in store for all of us.” —Dan dos Santos
“The best-selling SF anthology series of all time.” —Locus Magazine
“Writers of the Future collection is exciting and engrossing, with stories that range across the spectrum of SF and fantasy. Tried-and-true space opera and epic fantasy, these stories explore new mysteries and ideas.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is a fine collection that will appeal to both fans of science fiction and fantasy short stories and aspiring writers looking for ways to improve their craft.” — Booklist
“Verdict: Speculative fiction fans will welcome this showcase of new talent.” —Library Journal, Starred Review
About the Author
- Publisher : Galaxy Press; Reprint edition (May 4, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1619863227
- ISBN-13 : 978-1619863224
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 9 x 1.25 x 6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,498,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The tales themselves explore all manner of themes and topics, proving that despite our advances in science, there's still a lot of science fiction ideas to explore. Some of my favorites stories in the anthology were: "Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light" - which deals with what makes one human; "A Revolutionary's Guide to Practical Conjuration" - proving once more the devil is in the details; "Twelve Minutes to Vihn Quang" - family is everything and all is not as it may appear - tread carefully; "Wisteria Melancholy" - where your power stems from trauma and family is what you make for yourself.
Read a copy to see which turn out to be your favorites! :)
In the first story, I start to lose interest when he explains Mindnet and then the drug that makes you feel better than normal. I don’t think too many people can realistically show the future. The present tone tense of it didn't bring me into the story very well, and the ability to call people without using a phone didn't seem to be maintained. They still microwave popcorn? It’s like the author really didn’t get into this new world he’s created. I didn't like the ending.
Story two was cute and short but unsatisfying.
Story three was about a gal who can’t seem to reach womanhood but they decide to marry her off anyway because the people are needing new offspring. We are dropped into this world with little background, but it’s all about this girl’s relationship to others in a world that appears to be barely able to support its survivors. There’s no real indication, either, of what life is like here – how do they find food, what do they do all day? Or how or why they got here. It was an interesting read overall, though, kept me wanting to know more, and the ending was quite good.
The one about the magic book kept me going in the beginning but then got really hard to read with unsatisfying ending. Lacking in any real plot, with an environment and action that was too hard for me to follow or comprehend. I liked the one with Pup, and his adventures with Ghost, but got lost as to what the box was that he retrieved, so that made for an unsatisying ending.
I liked the one about the Echo, how a girl leaves patterned “selves” behind. It has a good twist to it, and easy to read.
Inconstant Moon most reminded me of Heinlein, who’s sci-fi I adore. I’m not big on apocalypse stories but this one was very well done. Real people in unreal situations. Those make the best stories – or unreal people in real situations. Either way. The characters have to appeal to us, and obviously no writer can appeal to all readers.
In Poseidon’s Eyes, which I read later was an award winner, I got drawn into the main sub-character’s story in an unusual way. The bum who sleeps in his car “demonstrated what the whole town was like”. Now the person describing the town really doesn’t give a clue what that means, but you will find out at the end. It’s kind of like what you’d call framing in an article. There were a few distractions for me. It was written in past tense but first person and the character had the line “heedless of the pain that rubbed off” referring to herself not noticing something. Well, then, how could she mention it? Should have added “until later,” since this was past tense. First person can be a challenge. There was also a murder, the first in 50 years, and you want to hang around to find out about that. Later refers to “feelings that could kill” even though the town wasn’t described as being murderous. And then there are the spirits that float around everyone, as though part of the town. Everything does get wrapped up pretty well, and I suspect the distractions may have been deliberate.
There are a few nonfiction articles thrown in and I like the one about writing for readers. I’ve had these feelings and experiences myself. But when it comes to seeing ALL of these as better than the one I entered that’s been rejected, I struggled. Some, definitely. To be honest, I couldn’t read the Hubbard story. I’m more a Heinlein fan myself. I doubt I’ll be buying more of these collections, but I’m sure many readers would enjoy them.
THE GREAT ONES: (In order of appearance) "Switch" - A realistic depiction of addiction, mixed with a compelling plot and a final action scene so intense, yet so detailed and inventive it makes one think this author needs to "switch" to screenplays and liven up Hollywood's ideas of action scenes. "Stars That Make Dark Heaven Light" builds slowly. Etta is a compelling character you will find yourself rooting for before you even know why. I don't want to give too much away here, but it has an unconventional-yet-conventional happy ending. "A Revolutionary's Guide To Practical Conjuration" presents an interesting world where how much light one sees in a day depends on your wealth and social standing. Connected to this - less light, more crime. More light, less crime. Humor is woven like leaven throughout the story to help the spirit of the reader rise to hope for something better to happen to the main character, and the resolution he effects will have you grinning. "Rough Draft" was inspiring, with enough detail that it felt like a realistic near-future world. Similarly, "Unrefined" makes pioneering in zero-gravity down-to-earth via the very human relationship dynamics, and all-too-familiar dual nemesis of corporate espionage and governmental over-reach. I can hardly wait to read more, as I've learned that a short-story sequel is in the works! "Half Past" mixes magic, mystery and melancholy together effectively. You'll want to read it again right after the first reading to "see" the hints at the truth you (may) have missed. "Inconstant Moon" is a thoroughly likeable love story that just happens to take place when the sun appears to have exploded and they only have one last night to live. "Wisteria Melancholy" was a surprisingly pleasant story of self-discovery with hilarious group home relationship dynamics mixed in with the interesting idea of psychomorphically unstable people. "Planar Ghosts" managed a fine balance between haunting and hopeful, portraying life -after- the end of the world. The final scene is so innocent when juxtaposed with how -hard- the characters have been forced to act in order to survive it makes one ache for the characters.
THE GOOD ONES: "The God Whisperer" was hilarious, but a bit short, and it felt like some of the characters were slightly underdeveloped. "When Shadows Fall" has the earnest (if a bit preachy and dated) concern of keeping mankind united in protecting Earth as the mother planet at it's heart. "Twelve Minutes To Vinh Quang" has a lot of trickery between characters going on in it to keep you guessing, and features some cool new ideas of how future tech will both help and hinder human traffickers/coyotes, but didn't pack the emotional punch I thought it would. "Between Screens" was both fascinating and depressing, much like what the characters are going through. But ultimately, depressing won out. "Purposes Made For Alien Minds" was fascinating, but a bit of mental exercise to read, due to it being narrated by a pentamemer. It's worth the effort, but still... it's satisfaction you have to earn. "The Graver" is a story of unresolved sorrow and it's effects on those left behind after a tragic death. A (only somewhat predictable) bittersweet ending provides unexpected insight into the daughter's character that had, at first, seemed a bit stereotypical. "Poseidon's Eyes" is a quirky fantasy story, told in a small-town-turned-boom-town. It explores the natural and supernatural dynamics of new money clashing with old ways, from the point of view of a transplanted outsider. It's a little too melodramatic/sentimental for my taste, personally, but still an okay read.
THE ILLUSTRATIONS: Nearly all of the illustrations are top notch, and considering the average age of the artists being college age, it's truly impressive to see such quality and story-accurate thought put into them. Only 2 illustrations disappointed slightly, for different reasons: The "Poseidon's Eyes" illustration was a bit rough in execution, and it's depiction of the story came across a little stereotypical, and "A Revolutionary's Guide To Practical Conjuration" didn't seem to have much relation at all to the story itself, although it was creative and very well done.
The essays included gave me some insight into the writing and publishing world that I appreciate gaining. I like the tone struck by the judges that wrote for this anthology - so encouraging and helpful and humble. All told, I would buy this again, and will be looking forward to the next year's edition for sure!
Top reviews from other countries
A personal favourite from the competition was the laugh-a-plenty 'God Whisperer' by Daniel J. Davis (illustrated by Alex Brock), with its fun and novel twist on a common domestic problem.
I don't believe this is the best collection of short SF stories available.